Kosher Wine Guides

The French Fight Back

While Israeli wines may dominate the kosher market, French wines are starting to make a comeback.

Special To The Jewish Week

Almost 20 years ago, in the summer of 1995, I walked out of a liquor store with an $11 purchase that was going to change my life.  It was a bottle of Georges Duboeuf’s 1994 kosher Beaujolais Villages (the only French kosher vintage ever exported to the U.S.), and it was a perfect entry-level red. It was the wine that convinced me that there was more to kosher wine than Cream Concord, and it was French.

The Tastemakers

Meet the judges whose discerning palates pick The Jewish Week’s Top 18 Kosher Wines Competition.


Herman Allenson

The Shmittah Effect

What impact does the biblically mandated sabbatical year have on Israel’s wine industry?

Special To The Jewish Week

When it comes to Israeli kosher wine, there is one major issue that springs forth every seven years: shmittah (from the Hebrew root word meaning “to let go” or “release”).

A vineyard in the Golan. The Israeli government subsidizes growers who fully observe shmittah laws.  Wikimedia Commons

Ingredients For A ‘Spirited’ Passover

Quality kosher le’Pesach cognacs, vodkas and gins are on the rise.

Special To The Jewish Week

One of my favorite anecdotes is likely apocryphal and it dates back to the mid-1950s. First mentioned in print in 1956, it involves a group of engineers who were trying to develop an electronic system to translate English to Russian, and vice versa. One of the first phrases the engineers tried was, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The machine quickly translated it, and came up with, “The liquor is agreeable, but the meat is rotten.”

Out Of Egypt

Passover remembrances and recipes from noted food anthropologist and writer Claudia Roden.

Special To The Jewish Week

As much a culinary anthropologist as a food writer, London-based Claudia Roden has been writing about food, and its history, for nearly half a century. Her articles and books (including her James Beard Award-winning magnum opus, “The Book of Jewish Food: an Odyssey from Samarkand to New York,” 1996) are written in a conversational style, but they display a depth of scholarly research as she tries to uncover the history and origins of the dishes she describes.  

 From Cairo to London, with an armful of recipes. Tony French

The Terrain In Spain

The mountain village of Capçanes is the site of an unlikely kosher wine success story.

Special To The Jewish Week

On a trip through Spain last June, an irate ticket agent at the Barcelona-Sants train station told me that “there is no such place as Capçanes.” She was wrong. After about five minutes of verbal back-and-forth, the agent realized that I was at the wrong ticket counter, and sent me across the station to get a commuter train. Roughly two hours and 20 stops later, I stepped onto a railroad platform in the little mountain village of Capçanes (pop. 412).

The picturesque village of Capçanes.  Courtesy of Cellar Capçanes

Is The Kosher Label A ‘Golden Handcuff?’

Israeli vintners discuss the benefits and pitfalls of typecasting.

Special To The Jewish Week

It’s a bit like being a sophisticated teenager and having to sit at the kid’s table for the Passover seder. Or like a composer who has written a work he thinks is serious and having it end up in the “Light Classical” bin. 

Separate but equal? The Israeli kosher wine shelf at Skyview Wine & Spirits in Riverdale. Michael Datikash/JW

A World Of Kosher Wine


We open this, our sixth annual Kosher Wine Guide, with an intriguing question, one that mirrors the age-old, Is it Good for the Jews? Is the “kosher” label good for vintners, or is it, as one of them tells us, “a golden handcuff?” Can segregation on the shelf actually be a boon? Or, as the quality of kosher wine improves, is it demeaning to be stuck on the kosher shelf, like a sophisticated teenager who finds herself at the kid’s table for the Passover seder?

Top Wines, 2014

The Galloping Gaul Of Kosher Wine; The Wine From A Little Town Called Hope; From Tuscany With Body; Kosher Wine Down Under And Out West

Kosher Wine Guide March 2014

Top Wines $36 and over

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